Review: To The Bone

**Trigger Warning – eating disorders**

Before I start, I just want to say that I have never had an eating disorder. Sure, I have had issues with my body but unfortunately that is something that just seems to be the norm among men and women. Every day we see pictures of photo-shopped celebrities who appear “perfect”. So of course this is going to cause a mass effect of people constantly body conscious, taking on different diets and exercises to achieve perfection.

The reason I mention this is because my views of this movie will therefore be different to someone who is or has suffered an eating disorder.

To be very clear, an eating disorder is on a completely different scale. An eating disorder is a serious mental illness and not something to be taken lightly. It’s not just someone “going on a diet”. It is a pre-occupation of body weight and/or shape, exercise and food, and it can be deadly.

Show synopsis

Ellen is an unruly 20-year-old anorexic girl who spent the better part of her teenage years being shepherded through various recovery programs, only to find herself several pounds lighter every time. Determined to find a solution, her dysfunctional family agrees to send her to a group home for youths, which is led by a non-traditional doctor. Surprised by the unusual rules, Ellen must discover for herself how to confront her addiction and attempt self-acceptance.

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I have heard various opinions on this show and they have all been quite mixed. I think the first thing you have to remember is that this movie shows an experience but it may not be your experience. If you are someone who has suffered or is suffering from an eating disorder, there are therefore probably going to be moments throughout the movie where you are like “what the fuck?” or “that would never happen”.

I personally liked this film. It would feel wrong to say “enjoyed” considering the dark subject matter. However the humour was dry and dark, which I did enjoy. I found the characters interesting, however we really didn’t get to know them very much which I thought was a bit of a shame. The movie is about Ellen’s journey, however it would have been nice for her friends to have some more depth to them.

I liked how the family dynamic wasn’t perfect. You tend to see a lot of movies/shows where the family appears perfect, a point in which most people would say is unrealistic. While the family are a mess and broken up, the one thing they all have in common is their love for Ellen and the hopelessness they feel about her mental illness.

I loved how Lily Collins portrayed Ellen. I understand that Lily herself has had an eating disorder so I can’t imagine how difficult emotionally and physically it would have been for her to portray this character. I found her experience believable and through most of the film felt sad for not only what she was going through, but how her family treated her like a problem to solve.

Something I have to say I disliked was the love interest. Firstly, it was instalove…a trope I really dislike. I hate when two characters meet and then all of a sudden they are both seeing stars. I felt like the relationship wasn’t fleshed out enough and it didn’t feel real. It felt a bit forced, but then I don’t know if that was the intention.

Something else that I have thought of is that I think this movie would have been better as a television show or mini series. At times I thought it felt a bit rushed – hence the lack in character development for the side characters. The ending comes on very quickly. And while I understand why it ended where it did it still felt very…sudden.

Overall, I thought this was a great film. I will always advocate for things that are going to bring attention to mental illnesses as they are still taboo. The fact that movies like this garner a lot of heated discussion is good – because it means that people are talking about it.

Have you watched To The Bone yet? If so, what was your opinion on it? Did you love it or hate it?

Steff xx


The Cons of Reading Because I Am A Muggle & Can’t Have Nice Things

Howdy Everyone!!

Here are todays ponderings…

Reading gives us the chance to step away from the real world and our fast paced, busy lives. It’s nice to have something to go to when you are feeling tired or stressed, and need something to take you away from it all without going on a holiday. Reading has many upsides, it is fun, entertaining and relaxing. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CONS?!?!

I will tell you what the cons are my friends, in my list below. My list is more of a FOMO (fear of missing out) list than anything. These are all the things that make me SAD because when I go back to real life…these things aren’t there. It is a CONS list because I wish they were real and it can be quite agonising.

Magical Abilities

I want to cool magical abilities, like being able to point at something and it catching on fire, or flying, or SHAPESHIFTING!!! Why oh why can’t I have these things??? Every time I put my book down I feel like such a MUGGLE and it makes me SOOOO SAD!!!!!

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Cool Fighting Skills

I can only dream of fighting as awesomely as say Delilah Bard or Aelin Galythinius. They whirl around with their knives like they are ballet dancers. I don’t trust myself with anything sharp. I will most likely drop it on my foot and cut a toe off.

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Talking Animals

It’s sooooo awesome when animals can talk in books (well, sometimes anyway). Who would need anyone in their lives EVER if they had a kitty that spoke back to them? I can tell you I would be quite content living in Alaska surrounded by talking bears and wolves (because they are friendly in this setting of course).

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I LOVE dragons. Would they love me? Probably not because they are always super cranky. However, they are still pretty freaking awesome. They are a creature that demands respect, like a lion or a shark, so naturally you would keep the hell away from them. But it would still be pretty cool if they were a real thing.

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Time Travel

Oh how many times throughout our lives do we say “I wish I could go back in time and…”. I would like to time-travel just as an education thing, like what Bill and Ted do to get good marks on their exams. I will forever be hopeful that Scientists come up with a way to time travel as this is one thing in this list that makes me SUPER SAD about.

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Witty Banter

Ok this is a super random one, but characters in books always say the COOLEST things. And I know the author has sat there thinking for hours about cool things to say, but it makes me so jealous because I want to say cool things! I want people to laugh at my jokes – instead of only me laughing at my jokes. I want to come up with cool comebacks straight away, rather than thinking something awesome up 48 hours later.

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Pirate Ship

Umm…who doesn’t want to be a pirate? I’m not very good at being on the ocean…I don’t like the thought of all the things lurking in the deep and I don’t like waves. But if I had a pirate ship in my backyard I think I could be quite content with this.

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All The Food

Ever noticed that, especially in fantasy, seem to eat really awesome stuff? And also notice that they never have to worry about food poisoning or even worse putting on weight after eating a chocolate? I want this to apply to real life!!!!

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I know you can get this at Harry Potter World but…I want it in every day life!! WHY DON’T WE HAVE IT YET WHEN WE HAVE EVERYTHING ELSE HARRY POTTER RELATED?!?!?!

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Ok so do you agree with my list? Or did I just make you super sad? Let me know!!

Steff xx

Ranty rant: Adults aren’t perfect, so why do teenagers have to be?

So here’s the deal. Not everyone is going to love every character out there for whatever reason. I hated Scarlett from Caraval, she annoyed me so much mostly because she was such a buzzkill and for me wasn’t an interesting character compared to her sister. There are characters I loved that others hate. Take for instance Tessa from The Infernal Devices, I know some people find her insufferable however I actually absolutely loved her.

I read Young Adult books, which means that not only are the characters mostly teenagers but that is also who the books are aimed at. There is absolutely nothing wrong with adults reading YA books, however when an adult starts to make complaints about a teenager acting like a teenager, that’s where things get annoying.

Teenagers aren’t perfect. But guess what, adults sure as hell aren’t perfect either. I have known adults who carry on like the world owes them something, who have had the chance to build something for themselves and have knocked it down at every chance they get. I know adults who are privileged assholes, who have had everything given to them in life and never had to try hard for anything (and boy don’t they act like it). I know adults who complain about everything and how hard life has been for them, but have done absolutely nothing to make things better for themselves (but are more than happy to lay the blame on everyone else).

So, what is it that is wrong with teenagers and how they act compared to adults, who are supposed to know better? And also, do you remember what you were like when you were a 16 year old? When I was 16 I was full of hormones that made life super confusing and I was either laughing, crying or seething. I complained about my parents, teachers, and people more privileged than me. I listened to music that explained exactly how I was feeling and would write quotes in my diary that were written by other people but could have been written about my life. I felt misunderstood and not taken seriously. I thought boys were evil but at the same time I wanted them to notice me. I wanted thousands of friends and to go to parties and be cool. I wore a bandana and glasses because I wanted to stand out and be unique (even though now I look back at pics of myself and think WHAT A LOSER). I wasn’t perfect. I’m still not.

The last thing teenage me would have wanted to read about was perfection. I would have wanted to read stories where the characters are going through the same internal conflicts. I would have wanted to read stories that made me feel not so alone in the world, like I had some fictional friends in another world I could visit when life was feeling hard or scary.

Which then brings me back to reading YA. There are adults who don’t like to read YA because they don’t want to read from a teenagers point of view, and that is absolutely fine. There are probably even teenagers who don’t like to read YA for the exact same reason. Each to their own I say! However, if you are reading a book that is aimed for young readers and you are getting angry because the characters are acting like young people, I would seriously suggest you look at reading books aimed at a higher age bracket.

I finish with this. Stop expecting perfection from teens whether fictitious or not. Not only is it unrealistic, but it puts so much pressure on young people when they already have the weight of the world on their shoulders as it is. I have never known an adult who is perfect, and even if they came across that way they are just doing a good job at covering up their flaws (a singer comes to mind, initials T.S…but that’s an argument for another day).

Anyways that all from me for now. If you want to add your 2 cents please feel free to hit me back in the comments below 🙂

Steff xx

Why I Loved The Vagrant Series

I recently read The Vagrant series by Peter Newman, and I have to say, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! While the first book took me a little bit to get my head around who the bad guy was and the world in general, I found it to be a fantastic and completely different read.

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The Vagrant is his name. He has no other. Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape, carrying nothing but a kit-bag, a legendary sword and a baby. His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the sword, the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war. But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.  

Because I loved this series so much, I have made a little list of some of the things I loved about this series.

1. Goats

Yes. Goats!!! The first book has a cranky old goat that is travelling with the vagrant, and she does not give two shits about anything. When the world is falling to pieces, the goat stands there eating and scowling. The second and third book have one of cranky goats children, just referred to as “the kid”. The kid is hilarious, running and fainting and adding a bit of chaos. This is the first book series I have ever read where there is a goat as a sidekick and it is awesome.

2. Vesper

We see the young girl Vesper grow into a woman over the 3 books….literally. In the first book she is a baby and pretty much just a prop. But she turns into a pretty kickass chick, so much so that I named my Diablo character after her. And yes, my Diablo character is pretty dope.

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3. The Vagrant

Also a first for me is a book where the main character is mute. Despite not uttering a single word, it is awesome to still see how he communicates. It takes a bit to learn about him but you get to see flashbacks throughout the first book which sheds light on who he is and why he is doing what he is doing. I also found he could be funny at times, without even really meaning to be.

4. Side-kicks

Throughout the series you meet a few sidekicks that kind of just come up out of the blue, which I love. The main characters always end up with a  bit of a rag-tag group on their quest and it makes for some interesting moments. My favourite would have had to have been Samael…I can’t really explain him but I don’t want to give anything away. And while he is another character that didn’t have a lot of dialogue, I just really liked him.

5. The writing

Peter Newman is a great story-teller, and like the rest of the book, I found his writing to be completely different to anything I have ever read. I found his writing to be quite poetic and the world-building was awesome. There were a lot of characters to juggle in this series and I found he did it quite well.

6. Dystopian

I was a bit exhausted by the dystopian genre for a while, but now I love it again. The Vagrant is set in a post-apocalyptic world, overtaken by demons. Humans are all pretty horrible to each other so even though there is a bad guy, there isn’t really anyone you can trust anyway.

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7. The Seven

I feel weird putting this one down because I thought the seven weren’t very nice, however I loved the story behind them and how flawed they were even though they were supposed to be perfect. I found their story quite compelling and it was interesting to see what happened with them over the series.

I have read mixed reviews on this series, however I personally loved it. It was very different which I found really refreshing, and if you aren’t one who likes romance in your sci-fi/fantasy then this should be up your alley. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this series and highly recommend it!!!

Steff xx